People’s Republic of Lodz
A friend told me once that Lodz is the Polish Donetsk. This statement carried such heavy stigma that I kept looking for signs of aggression, depression, and decay — the characteristics associated in my mind with the “capital” of the separatist enclave. Propaganda poisons the mind: despite having never visited Lodz before and knowing nothing about its history and people, this phrase started to shape my perception of the city as I tried to find confirmation to my bias.
This project consists of photographs made on location in Lodz along with appropriated and re-purposed imagery and quotations from various news sources, combined into fictional text.
The goal of this project was to introduce the public to one of the most devastating weapons of our day: the so called “hybrid warfare.” Wikipedia defines it as “a military strategy that blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare, and cyberwarfare. By combining kinetic operations with subversive efforts, the aggressor intends to avoid attribution or retribution”.
It is no longer crude, Goebels-like propaganda, it is a totally distorted, alternative reality imposed on the public via all available means of communication. It is believable, convincing, and incredibly toxic.
Russia has been using an advanced form of hybrid warfare in Ukraine since early 2014. It relies heavily on an element of information warfare that the Russians call “reflexive control.” Reflexive control is a perception management strategy that shapes the adversary’s and the global attitudes toward one’s actions in an advantages manner.
Moscow has used this technique skillfully to persuade the U.S. and its European allies to remain largely passive in the face of Russia’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle Ukraine through military and non-military means.
Now, I set a stage for a dystopian scenario in Poland.